I have been writing this email over a couple of days and so happy to be able to now send this to you and for Dave and I to share the story of Percy James entering this big world!
Dave and I welcomed Percy James into this big world on 29 October 2021 at 41+1 weeks, weighing 3.81kg. He was very comfortable inside and was not in a rush to meet us at all.
As you know, when we met you back in August at the transform parenting course, I was very fearful of giving birth as a result of a number of past experiences including being the birthing partner to my sister some 11 years ago. Because of this, I was determined not to experience the ‘pain’ of bringing our baby into this world and my answer was to opt for an elective cesarian. After the course, Dave and I were transformed and full of confidence that we had never felt before. My mindset shifted and I knew that I would be able to try so hard to bring our baby into this world in the most naturalist of ways, something that I never thought possible.
After the course, we focused for the next 9 weeks together as a loving team to put into practice all you taught us. This included completing your daily relaxation together and individually. I can not begin to explain how much the relaxation alone truly changed our mindset and for me, made me feel so at ease with the unknown birthing adventure that was to come.
As Percy was overdue the hospital were very keen to induce me if I didn’t go into spontaneous labour. I know the induction process brings its own set of challenges and for me it instantly triggered fear and the thought again of the ‘pain’ I did not want to experience. I was also determined to stay at home for as long as possible for labour to help me with my fear and the thought of this being taken away was something I did not want. I spoke to the doctors at the hospital and made the decision to decline any form of induction. This left me with the hope that I would go into spontaneous labour within a few days and if not the option of a cesearian. On the chance it was the latter, I completed the required pre admission documentation at the hospital and was booked in for a cesearian.
After the visit to the hospital (which of course was made harder by Dave not being with me to talk through any decisions I was making), Dave and I went for a long walk around Lake
Ginninderra. During the walk we spoke about (which we did often) your course, everything you taught us and the pros and cons of what we were facing. It was an emotional time as I felt like my body wasn’t ‘doing what it was built to do’. During the walk Dave said to me, lets give Tracey a call and have a chat to her tomorrow.
Well that tomorrow never came, when we got home from our walk, I said to Dave that I needed to have a nap, something that I didn’t do often at all throughout the pregnancy, as I didn’t feel well and was really tired. This same night at 11.30pm I felt the first period like pain and knew that it was the start of labour and bringing our baby into this world.
The night came and went and I was able to sleep on and off for most of the night with the ‘uncomfortable’ feelings coming and going. The morning came around and Dave offered to call the hospital but I told him not to worry just yet as we were doing just fine. Instead we booked our little kitten into the cat hotel, so Dave popped out to drop him off and stopped by bunnings on the way home to pick up some extra plants for the section of garden that we are fixing up. I potted around the house, watched TV, did some washing and had a nice long warm bath. It felt like such a surreal day and like everything was in slow motion.
The day came and went and my contractions were becoming more frequent but nothing that I wasn’t able to breathe through by taking myself to my own special place. I remember thinking to myself how surprised I was at the speed of 1 minute and that with the breathing you taught us equated for me to 6 slow, deep breathes.
As the contractions became more regular I started using my TENS machine, heat packs and took the time to close my eyes and rest between. I remembered from the course you said it is a marathon not a sprint and to make sure to keep up eating and drinking and going to the toilet. We made sure that I did all of these things and I think it made such a difference as my labour progressed. When my contractions reached 4 minutes apart Dave phoned the hospital to let them know I was in labour. They were very happy with my progress and very happy for me to continue on at home for as long as I felt comfortable.
As the sun set I said to Dave let’s head out for a walk. Walking is something that we did and still do together everyday. I even managed to get up Mt Ainslie at 40 weeks pregnant! The walk this time however was alot shorter than usual and was filled with very regular stops to breathe through the contractions while holding onto Dave. The walk was the best thing we could have done and just what my body at this point needed to progress. When we got home Dave ran another bath for me and this is where I stayed for a couple of hours until we left for hospital. Dave phoned the hospital again at midnight once my contractions were 2.5 / 3 minutes apart and once again the hospital were happy for us to make our way in when I felt the need. We remained at home for another hour and it was at this point I knew it was time we transitioned to hospital.
On the way to the hospital the contractions were coming very fast and I had a zooper dooper in hand to distract myself for the drive. When we arrived at the birth suite the midwife asked if I would be happy to have a examination. I was happy to do this. To our suprise I was very far progressed at 7cm! I just could not believe how far dilated I was and how well I had handled the experience.
Once again I jumped in the bath and continued labouring in the bath until I was no longer able. It was at this point of no longer be able to stay in the bath that I was also wanting any form of pain relief that I could be given as I felt like I was no longer coping. I remember telling myself and I said out loud to Dave – this is ‘transition’ I know what is happening, I know what is to come and I remember everything Tracey told us.
It was not long after that I felt the urge to begin pushing and my waters broke in a big gush! I was now too far progressed to have any pain relief. This made me a little distressed and the fear that I had from the beginning of my pregnancy journey once again began to creep in. Dave was able to keep me so calm and focused. There were so many points during this stage where I nearly lost control but each time Dave talked me through it and camly brought me back to focusing. I remember the midwife at this point telling me that what I was experiencing was about to change and that pushing would be much easier. She was so right!
After a very short stage 3 and after being in hospital for just on 4 hours, we welcomed Percy James into this world 1 hour ahead of the scheduled time of my booked cesearian!
When Percy entered this world it was truly magical and such a beautiful, amazing experience where it felt like nothing else mattered, the world had paused, time frozen.
Another important take away from the course was to make sure you take the time as a new family to enjoy the special moment with your baby. We did just that, which gave us time to rest, bond with Percy, process what had unfolded over the past 30.5 hours and refuel for what was to come. Over this time we also remained completly disconnected and held off sharing our special news with our family until the early afternoon.
We stayed in hospital for 2 nights which was just what we needed. We felt very supported in hospital and there was no rush for us to leave. It was however so amazing to get home to our own comfy space with Percy. We lived like cave people for the first 4 days, remaining in our bedroom and only leaving to reach the kitchen. For both Dave and I, this was such a special time and one that we will always remember.
4 weeks on from Percy entering this big world, we are doing so great as a family of 3. It has been a huge adjustment to the busy lives we have always led but such an amazing adjustment and welcomed change of pace. Percy is just beautiful, very calm and chilled and is now well over his birth weight. He has even managed to make it back up Mt Ainslie 3 times… but now on the outside being carried by Dad!
Dave and I wanted to share our birthing story and hopefully inspire those out there who may have similar fears to what I had about giving birth. I can hand on heart say that I could not have brought Percy into this world without Dave giving me all his love and trust to birth our baby, being my rock, support, and the best husband anyone could ask for along with all of the knowledge and empowerment of the transform parenting course for both Dave and I.
I am still taking the time to process my pregnancy journey but mostly my labour journey. I am just so amazed and proud of myself and at what my body was capable of. I am also so proud of Dave and I and now know that love does make everything in life achievable.
Thank you a million times over for teaching us all that you did and for preparing us for what was to come.
I have attached the first family picture of Dave, Percy and I and also a picture from our first walk up Mt Ainslie!
Kim, Dave and Percy x